Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Is a Small Sacrifice for a Loved One a Punishment?

A friend and I talked today about her grandson, whom I'll call James. At age ten, James is a binge eater and nearly 40 pounds overweight. "His parents need to get all the junk food out of the house," I said. My friend replied that James's father doesn't want to punish his other kids.

Let's consider this for a moment: getting rid of the soda, chips, pizza, cup cakes, ice cream, and any other sugary, starchy junk that provides no nutrients, which is harming one of the kids, is a punishment.

What if two parents had living under their roof a fifteen-year-old alcoholic and a twenty-one-year-old who enjoyed a beer now and then. Getting rid of the beer, wine, liquor, and any other other alcohol, which provides no nutrients, which is harming one of the kids, would be common sense.

What if a family had a child who needed a lot of medical care, and they all had to scale back their lifestyle to pay for it--would that be a punishment, or what families are supposed to do? James has a medical problem, not a willpower problem, and the small sacrifice of keeping the junk food out of the house isn't a punishment. It's decency.


FredT said...

There are subsets of the population who are addicted to foods and/or compulsive overeaters. The problem are not just physical but also mental.

Good luck on finding help. Much of the medical community will not acknowledge the problem, and do not have any solutions anyway.

There is a solution, if he is one of us, but it is tough, OA, FAA, Gray Sheet, and the like.

Lori Miller said...

Agreed--Dana Carpender says she was so addicted to sugar in her teens that she stole money to feed her habit. At least James is too young to buy food on his own.

His grandmother is reading The New Atkins for a New You; by sheer luck, I found a used copy for sale and she bought it from me.

I see FAA recommends abstaining from flour, sugar and wheat--sounds like good advice.

Exceptionally Brash said...

this is so sad that the boy can't get the help he needs

Lori Miller said...

We'll see. His grandmother is the matriarch and a force to be reckoned with, and she's a health nut and works out every day. But being naturally slim, she didn't appreciate how much carbohydrate affects some people until we had some conversations about it.